A world's mirror
By Silvia Dias
1 Jul 2009
It was a saturday, November 15th.
The weather was incredibly warm for the time of year, sun shining above and the blue sky welcoming us.
It was me and the first day of a new life, the day me and my love were together for the first time.
My two lovers.
We had decided to go to that shabby little lomo store, the lomo embassy, located in that tight street. The walls of the store were covered with pictures of other people's smiles, other people's lives captured in little rectangles that will (maybe) last forever.
The number of tiny toy cameras made me colourfully drunk. Pink cameras, yellow cameras, blue cameras, cameras that had blue, yellow and pink, like an analogic plastic rainbow.
I remember spending half an hour trying to decide which plastic beauty would be my new companion. Which one of the two ladies - Diana or Holga - would be "not an interference with my life but a part of it" (lomo rules).
I decided to go with the black Holga. Looked strong and ready for the battle, just like I needed. Matt chose the Diana. I wonder why the female names. Each time I say I'm with my holga, people say "Who?", instead of "What?". Which, to be honest, is much more fair.
They put Holga inside a box (poor lady), with a set that made me scared. A 120mm film (which I thought was a colour film), a book filled with lives painted in strong colours, and black tape. Wait, black tape? Was it supposed to break that easily that they were giving me the tape in advance? Definitely, I wasn't impressed, but hey, one has to take risks, right?
I spent days looking at it, without touching. I had never used 120mm film before and, although Holga itself is quite simple, it looked, somehow, a bit more threatening than before... I had seen so many beautiful works that I thought it would be hard for me to get things like that. Would it work?
The first time I used it, I was going on a walk, on a land of trees and clouded blue skies. I was convinced that I had inside the Holga a colour film and decided to point and shoot at everything I saw. Skies, trees, dogs, my baby niece, skies, trees, dogs... I have to admit I wasn't being very original, but I wanted to get the distorted colours I had seen in other people's works, the sun burning the film, the blue turning into grey.
When I developed the pictures, the people at the lab said that it was a black and white film... The horror!... Or was it? From a whole film only one picture was decent. I wasn't used to getting surprises like this. But it was a very... interesting experience. And very fun too!
Now I see life in squares or framed with little rectangles, what I like to call 'little tiny pieces of stolen memories'.
There's so much Holga allows you to do. And Holga gives so much to you.
The surprise factor, the plastic little box, the lives that gain life in a piece of paper, the smiles, the colours or the lack of colours, the freedom, the intimacy, the lightness, the stories we share and the stories we create, the squares, the rectangles, the squares, the juxtaposition, all that is what makes my Holga mine. An advice? Follow the lomo rules - Ignore every rule.
Holga isn't perfect. It doesn't have to be. But in its imperfection, it makes things look even more beautiful. Like a real dream.